Berlin is often considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly cities in Europe, especially when considering the vast acreage of green space the city has to offer. From Malchower See near where we lodged in the eastern part of the city to the famed Tiergarten and everywhere in between, there were indeed many green spaces throughout this dynamic city.
Our AirBnB was located in WeißenSee in eastern Berlin. It felt more like a suburban area, with single-family homes with small and pretty gardens, though it was only about a half-hour tram ride from the Berlin’s iconic sights. The area itself was very lush, and even walking through the alleys to get to the nearby mall felt like walking through a fairy tale.
On our one slow morning, the boys and I went for a walk. Michael had found a trail earlier in the day while picking up the morning’s pastries that looked like it might make a pleasant activity while the girls slept in before heading back into the city. About a half-mile from where we stayed, there was a nice wooded park with a lake. The 18-acre Malchow Lake is thought to have been formed by glacial movement and erosion, which carved the depression that is now filled with water. The lake is an important habitat for a variety of toads and amphibious animals, as well as water fowl and fish. Swimming is not permitted in the lake for environmental reasons, however the morning we went, we did see a fisherman. The lake looked pretty even on a rather gloomy morning that held the threat of rain.
Surrounding the lake is a forested area with maple and poplars providing plenty of shade along the trails. Adjacent to the forest are meadows, some of which are used for cattle grazing. Nate wanted to see the cows, so we followed the path in hopes of seeing a few fluffy cows in their pasture. Sure enough, we were able to spot two cows grazing in the cool of the afternoon.
Nate and I played on the adventure play structure before heading back to the local market for snacks and some breakfast the next morning. The day’s excursion was a great way to pass a cool, cloudy afternoon before heading to dinner closer to the city center.
Tiergarten is the largest park in Berlin and in many tourist guides has been likened to New York’s Central Park. Covering about 2 square miles in Mitte, Berlin’s most central district, Tiergarten provides a ton of space for recreation. As mentioned in my first post, the park has miles of tree-lined trails, gardens, a cafe, and a beer garden. The Victory Column is within the area, as are a number of other monuments.
But what really attracted the kids to Tiergarten, besides being on the way to many points along our walking tours, was being able to ride their scooters throughout the park. The trails were, for the most part, wide and allowed for easy riding passage even with many others enjoying the summer day on the trail. While I do tend to prefer walking, I have to admit that riding e-scooters through the park was indeed a fun adventure. We did have to walk the scooters across the gated bridges over the streams in the park, but this wasn’t a big deal. We had a great time riding through the park, including when we scootered across Tiergarten to get to Kurfürstendamm to go shopping.
Regardless of where in Berlin you find yourself, you’ll likely be able to enjoy some nature while in a bustling urban area. There are so many parks, lakes, and other opportunities for recreation in the city. All that’s left to do is pick a happy trail and go!
The featured image is from the Berlin Zoological Garden located in the southwest section of Tiergarten.